|Born||July 11, 1935|
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||April 17, 2019 83) (aged|
|Associated acts||Northwestern University|
Fred Hemke, DMA (néFrederick Leroy Hemke, Jr.; July 11, 1935 – April 17, 2019) was an American virtuoso classical saxophonist and influential former professor of saxophone at Northwestern University. Hemke helped raise the popularity of classical saxophone, particularly among leading American composers and helped raise the recognition of classical saxophone in solo, chamber, and major orchestral repertoire. For a half century, from 1962 to 2012, Hemke was a full-time faculty music educator at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. In 2002, Hemke was named Associate Dean Emeritus of the School of Music.Hemke retired from Northwestern University in 2012. From the start of his career in the early 1960s, building on the achievements of earlier influential American teachers of classical saxophone — including those of Larry Teal, Joseph Allard, Cecil Leeson, Sigurd Raschèr, and Vincent Abato — Hemke, and a handful of peer American saxophonists — including Eugene Rousseau and Donald Sinta — helped build American saxophone repertoire through composers that included Muczynski, Creston, Stein, Heiden, and Karlins. Journalist and author Michael Segell, in his 2005 book, The Devil's Horn, called Hemke "The Dean of Saxophone Education in America." Hemke died on April 17, 2019.
The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) is a doctoral academic degree in music. The D.M.A. combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The D.M.A. degree usually takes about three to four years of full-time study to complete, preparing students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers. As a terminal degree, the D.M.A. qualifies its recipient to work in university, college, and conservatory teaching/research positions. Students seeking doctoral training in musicology or music theory typically enter a Ph.D. program, rather than a D.M.A. program.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed, traditionally made out of woody cane, rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwinds, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube.
From 1955 to 1956, Hemke studied saxophone with Marcel Mule at the Paris Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation, earning in 1956 the Premier Prix diploma.Hemke holds the distinction of being the first American saxophonist to earn a Premier Prix diploma from the Paris Conservatory. In 1958, Hemke earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. In 1962, he earned a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. In 1975, Hemke earned an A.Mus.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Marcel Mule was a French classical saxophonist. He was known worldwide as one of the great classical saxophonists, and many pieces were written for him, premiered by him, and arranged by him. Many of these pieces have become staples in the classical saxophone repertoire. He is considered to be the founder of the French Saxophone School and the most representative saxophone soloist of his time, being a fundamental figure in the development of the instrument.
A First Prize diploma in music is a high honor Diploma of Musical Studies, typically in performance or composition. It is awarded by European music conservatories and European-styled conservatories elsewhere. A First Prize diploma does not denote first in class, but rather, a very high level of artist proficiency. The typical period of study to earn a First Prize is one to two years. A First Prize diploma is sometimes wrongly described as being similar to a master's degree in music performance or composition. As of the mid-1990s, the degree in many European countries has been discontinued.
The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee is a public urban research university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is the largest university in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and a member of the University of Wisconsin System. It is also one of the two doctoral degree-granting public universities and the second largest university in Wisconsin.
In primary and secondary school, until the start of college, Hemke studied saxophone with Eddie Schmidt, a jobbing teacher, band director in Milwaukee, and a close friend of Ralph Joseph Hermann (1914–1994) — musician, composer, songwriter, and music publisher. Hemke was highly influenced by Schmidt's recording of Marcel Mule — and also of his recordings of Al Gallodoro, and Freddy Gardner. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Hemke studied with Jay Morton, teacher of woodwinds. Hemke did not have a formal saxophone teacher at Eastman, but while there, studied reeds with clarinetist Stanley Hasty (1920–2011), flute repertoire with Joseph Mariano (1911–2007), and oboe repertoire with Robert Sprenkle (1914–1988).
Ralph Hermann was an American composer and conductor. He also used the pseudonym Richard Hale. Hermann worked as head of the music department of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) since 1952 until his retirement in 1971.
Alfred J. Gallodoro, was an American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, who performed from the 1920s up until his death. He is notable for having played lead alto sax with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and bass clarinet for 12 years with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. Bandleader Jimmy Dorsey praised him as "the best sax player who ever lived."
Frederick James Gardner was a British jazz and dance band saxophonist during the 1930s and 1940s.
Hemke taught saxophone at Northwestern's School of Music for fifty years. He began in 1962 as a teaching associate. In 1964 he became an assistant professor and was appointed chairman of the newly formed Winds and Percussion Instruments Department. In 1967 Hemke was elevated to associate professor; on September 1, 1975, Full Professor; and on September 1, 1991, chairman of the Department of Music Performance Studies at the School of Music. Hemke served as senior associate dean for administration in the School of Music from 1995 to 2001. In 2002, Hemke was named the Louis and Elsie Snydacker Eckstein Professor of Music and also named associate dean emeritus of the School of Music. He retired from full-time teaching in 2012. As a music educator in higher education, Hemke has taught hundreds of saxophonists, many of whom have flourished as performing artists and music educators of international rank.
Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, United States, with other campuses located in Chicago and Doha, Qatar, and academic programs and facilities in Miami, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California. Along with its undergraduate programs, Northwestern is known for its Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Bienen School of Music, Medill School of Journalism, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, or Bienen School of Music, is an undergraduate and graduate institution devoted to musical performance and academics. Located on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Illinois, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, the school was known as the Northwestern University School of Music from 1895 to 2008. In September 2008, the school was named to honor retiring University president Henry Bienen and his wife, Leigh Buchanan Bienen.
Selected former students:
Georgia State University is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1913, it is one of the University System of Georgia's four research universities. It is also the largest institution of higher education based in Georgia and is in the top 10 in the nation with a diverse student population around 53,000 including approximately 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus downtown as of 2018.
Elmhurst College is a comprehensive four-year private liberal arts college in Elmhurst, Illinois. The college has a tradition of service-oriented learning and an affiliation with the United Church of Christ.
Eastern Florida State College, formerly Brevard Community College, is a public state college on Florida's Space Coast, in Brevard County, Florida. A member institution of the Florida College System, it has four campuses in Cocoa, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and Titusville, as well as an Aerospace program at Kennedy Space Center and a Virtual Campus.
Hemke was well known as the designer of a line of reeds which bear the trademark "Frederick L. Hemke Reeds." Rico Reeds began making the brand in 1982. Hemke was an artist-clinician for The Selmer Company,the North American distributor based in Elkhart, Indiana, of a premium crafted saxophones made in France by the Paris firm, Henri Selmer Paris. In 1979 Hemke was host for the Sixth World Saxophone Congress held at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
D'Addario is a manufacturer of musical instrument strings and accessories, primarily for guitars but also many other fretted and orchestral instruments. The company currently has its world headquarters in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, and its European headquarters in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England. It is a family-owned and operated business that is one of the largest string manufacturers in the world, not only producing several lines of strings under their own brand names, but also making OEM strings for other musical instrument companies.
Elkhart is a city in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. The city is located 15 miles (24 km) east of South Bend, Indiana, 110 miles (180 km) east of Chicago, Illinois, and 150 miles (240 km) north of Indianapolis, Indiana. Elkhart has the larger population of the two principal cities of the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn is part of the South Bend-Elkhart-Mishawaka Combined Statistical Area, in a region commonly known as Michiana. The population was 50,949 at the 2010 census. Despite the shared name, it is not the county seat of Elkhart County; that position is held by the city of Goshen, located about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Elkhart.
Henri Selmer Paris company is a French-based international family-owned enterprise, manufacturer of musical instruments based at Mantes-la-Ville near Paris, France. Founded in 1885, it is known as a producer of professional-grade woodwind and brass instruments, especially saxophones, clarinets and trumpets.
Hemke was an internationally acclaimed saxophone artist. Hemke has appeared extensively as a solo artist and has given master classes and lectures in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and the Far East. He performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many other orchestras. He premiered several works for saxophone, including Allan Pettersson's Symphony No. 16 (February 24, 1983)and James Di Pasquale's Sonata for tenor saxophone. Di Pasquale, a prolific composer, had studied saxophone with Hemke and Sigurd Rascher.
In a traditional modern saxophone quartet — B♭ soprano, E♭ alto, B♭ tenor, and E♭ baritone saxophone — repertoire and popularity for solo classical was, and still is, dominated by B♭ soprano and E♭ alto saxophone. Bucking the trend, Hemke spent time focusing on the B♭ tenor as a classical solo instrument, as evidenced by the release of his 1971 solo album, Music for Tenor Saxophone. In orchestral music, the tenor is known as one of the three saxophone voices in Ravel's Boléro — originally performed by two saxophonists, one on E♭ sopranino and one on tenor doubling on B♭ soprano. Recordings by tenor saxophone virtuoso James Houlik and others notwithstanding, classical tenor saxophone recordings make up a small portion of the classical saxophone repertoire and discography universe.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Commissions and dedications
|1956||Premiere Prix du Saxophone, Paris Conservatory; Hemke was the first American to win a First Prize from the Conservatory; his achievement inspired other American saxophonist to work towards First Prize diplomas at the Paris Conservatory, and other well-known European conservatories known for classical saxophone, including the Royal Conservatory of Brussels|
|1976–1978||Founding coordinator of the North American Saxophone Alliance; later awarded Honorary Life Membership|
|1999–2001||Distinguished Service to Music Medal, Kappa Kappa Psi, for Instrumental Music Education|
|2004||Appointed the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University|
|2013||Centerstage Lifetime Achievement Award, Conn-Selmer|
|2013||Honorary Alumni Award, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois|
Hemke had been a primary design consultant for the S-80 mouthpiece manufactured by Henri Selmer Paris. For alto saxophone, Hemke uses a custom version of the S-80. The mouthpiece is metal with a square chamber.
The Selmer Mark VII E♭ alto and B♭ tenor saxophones, introduced in 1974, were designed in consultation with Hemke.
Hemke Legacy Tribute: May 29 – June 3, 1912, Northwestern University
| Full-time faculty, saxophone|
Bienen School of Music
Eduardo Mata was a Mexican conductor and composer.
The alto saxophone, also referred to as the alto sax, is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in the 1840s, and patented in 1846. It is pitched in E♭, and is smaller than the tenor, but larger than the soprano. The alto sax is the most common saxophone and is commonly used in concert bands, chamber music, solo repertoire, military bands, marching bands, and jazz. The fingerings of the different saxophones are all the same so a saxophone player can play any type of saxophone.
Harvey Pittel is an American saxophonist who performs principally in North America, and, before retiring, was the Professor of Saxophone at the University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. Following studies as a music education major at the University of Southern California (USC), Pittel obtained his master's degree under the tutelage of Fred Hemke at Northwestern University and subsequently studied at the Juilliard School with Joseph Allard. He performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1973 as a winner of the Concert Artists Guild competition. He has edited the saxophone and piano reduction of the Ingolf Dahl Concerto for Saxophone and Band based on his work with Dahl during his studies at the University of Southern California. His version of the Concerto is the standard version of this piece played today, and has performed the piece under Dahl, as well as Michael Tilson Thomas and Zubin Mehta. Mr. Pittel has performed with many major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, and Austin Symphony.
C.G. Conn Ltd., sometimes called Conn Instruments or commonly just Conn, was an American manufacturer of musical instrument incorporated in 1915. It bought the production facilities owned by Charles Gerard Conn, a major figure in early manufacture of brasswinds and saxophones in the USA. Its early business was based primarily on brass instruments, which were manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana. During the 1950s the bulk of its sales revenue shifted to electric organs. In 1969 the company was sold in bankruptcy to the Crowell-Collier-MacMillan publishing company. Conn was divested of its Elkhart production facilities in 1970, leaving remaining production in satellite facilities and contractor sources. The company was sold in 1980 then again in 1985, reorganized under the parent corporation United Musical Instruments (UMI) in 1986. The assets of UMI were bought by Steinway Musical Instruments in 2000 and in January 2003 were merged with other Steinway properties into a subsidiary called Conn-Selmer. C.G. Conn survives as a brand of musical instruments manufactured by Conn-Selmer but only retains two instruments for which it was known: Conn 8-D horn and the 88-H trombone.
James Di Pasquale is an American musician and composer of contemporary classical music and music for television and films.
The Buescher Band Instrument Company was a manufacturer of musical instruments in Elkhart, Indiana, from 1894 to 1963.
James Garland Riggs is an American saxophonist in classical and jazz idioms, big band director, collegiate music educator, and international music clinician. He is also a University of North Texas Regents Professor Emeritus.
Eugene Rousseau is an American classical saxophonist. He plays mainly the alto and soprano saxophones.
Augusta Read Thomas is an American composer.
Jean Rivier was a French composer of classical music.
(Guillaume) Guy Lacour was a French composer of classical music, and a tenor saxophonist.
James Houlik is an American classical tenor saxophonist and saxophone teacher.
Symphony in B-flat for Band was written by the German composer Paul Hindemith in 1951. It was premiered on April 5 of that year by the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" with the composer conducting.
Debra Richtmeyer is an American classical saxophonist born June 19, 1957, in Lansing, Michigan.
Mark Engebretson, DM, Northwestern University is a saxophonist and composer. He has written music for orchestra, wind ensemble, chorus and chamber formations. His music often combines computer music and live performance.
Elie Apper is a Belgian classical saxophonist who is well known as a former member of the Saxophone Quartet of Belgium. The quartet was founded in 1953 and made its American debut December 9, 1970, in Fort Worth with the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth. The Quartet was founded by Francois Daneels, who was a professor of saxophone at the Brussels Conservatory.
Timothy McAllister is an American classical saxophonist and educator. Born in 1972, he gave his solo debut at age 16 with the Houston Civic Symphony. As a teenager he attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he was a pupil of Dr. John Sampen. He studied saxophone with Donald Sinta and conducting with H. Robert Reynolds at the University of Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Music (1995), the Albert A. Stanley Medal (1995), Masters of Music (1997), and a Doctor of Musical Arts (2002). As of 2014 he has been appointed to the position of Associate Professor of Saxophone at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance a title held previously by Donald Sinta and Larry Teal. Each summer he teaches saxophone at Interlochen with his PRISM Quartet. Prior to his post at Michigan, he succeeded Dr. Frederick Hemke at Northwestern University following his retirement after 50 years of teaching.